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Alec Soth

The Last Days of W.

January 20–March 28, 2009
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W. Installation view

Alec Soth: The Last Days of W.

Installation view

Works Exhibited

Alec Soth, Josh, Joelton, Tennessee, 2004 Chromogenic print, Image: 30 × 24 inches (76.2 × 60.9 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Josh, Joelton, Tennessee, 2004

Chromogenic print, Image: 30 × 24 inches (76.2 × 60.9 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Riverview Bank, Otsego, MN, 2004 Chromogenic print, Image: 30 × 24 inches (76.2 × 60.9 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Riverview Bank, Otsego, MN, 2004

Chromogenic print, Image: 30 × 24 inches (76.2 × 60.9 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Avenue Theater, Dallas, TX (Cash America theater), 2006 Chromogenic print, Image: 32 × 40 inches (81.2 × 101.6 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Avenue Theater, Dallas, TX (Cash America theater), 2006

Chromogenic print, Image: 32 × 40 inches (81.2 × 101.6 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Dynell, Bemidji, MN (Girl in store), 2007 Chromogenic print, Image: 40 × 32 inches (101.6 × 81.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Dynell, Bemidji, MN (Girl in store), 2007

Chromogenic print, Image: 40 × 32 inches (101.6 × 81.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Civic Fest, Minneapolis, MN (Presidential office), 2008 Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Civic Fest, Minneapolis, MN (Presidential office), 2008

Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Home Environment, Billings, MT, 2008 Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Home Environment, Billings, MT, 2008

Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Osama, Minneapolis, MN, 2008 Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Osama, Minneapolis, MN, 2008

Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Republican National Convention, Saint Paul, MN, 2008 Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Republican National Convention, Saint Paul, MN, 2008

Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Detroit, Michigan (Small house at the end of road), 2008 Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Detroit, Michigan (Small house at the end of road), 2008

Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Jolo, West Virginia, 2008 Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

Alec Soth, Jolo, West Virginia, 2008

Chromogenic print, Image: 24 × 30 inches (60.9 × 76.2 cm), edition of 8

About

Henri Cartier-Bresson famously said, "The world is going to pieces and people like Adams and Weston are photographing rocks." But I don't think the world would have been a better place if these photographers had headed off to a war zone. The question is whether you can be a political photographer while you photograph rocks. My pictures don't have a specific social commentary but I think they have social and political meaning.
—Alec Soth

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present "The Last Days of W.," color photographs taken by Alec Soth between 2000 and 2008.

Although originally conceived without explicit political intent, in retrospect Soth considers this selected body of work, which spans both terms of George W. Bush's presidency, to represent "a panoramic look at a country exhausted by its catastrophic leadership." Soth's earlier series such as "Sleeping by the Mississippi," "NIAGARA," and "Dog Days, Bogotá" – all subjective narratives containing disenfranchised figures and decaying landscapes — laid the conceptual groundwork for "The Last Days of W." It provides a wry commentary on the adverse effects of the national administration, perhaps best exemplified by an unwittingly ironic remark that Bush made in 2000: "I think we can agree, the past is over."

Following in the humanist tradition established by the great chroniclers of the American experience such as Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Stephen Shore, Soth captures diverse images of a country disillusioned with, and deceived by, its own identity, from mothers of marines serving in Iraq to teenage mothers in the Louisiana Bayou; from religious propaganda in the American workplace to the mortgage crisis in Stockton, CA. His incisive depiction of contemporary American reality confronts the ideals romanticized in the American Dream with the hastening decline of the American Empire.

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